What to Know Before Starting a Website Build

What do you need to start a new website?

Your website is going to be a conglomerate of the outcomes of many important decisions. The more decisions you make prior to getting started with a website developer, the faster they can produce your website.

You can hire your website developer to make several of these decisions for you, but that will increase the scope and cost of the project. Your due diligence can save you a lot of time and money.

We’ve made a comprehensive list of all of these “decisions” that will affect how quickly we can deliver your website. You really should go through that list at some point, but for now, this article will highlight some of the most important decisions that we absolutely need to know before we can get started.

1) What is your website domain?

A domain is the website address, such as example.com. Let us know if you already have a domain, if you are going to purchase one, or if you would like us to purchase one and invoice you later.

You can purchase domains through Namecheap, GoDaddy, Google Domains, and a long list of other websites. But spare everyone the headache and don’t purchase from Network Solutions…. Domains typically cost less than $15/yr, but highly sought-after domains can cost a premium upfront.

2) Who is your website host?

A website is a collection of thousands of files stored on a special computer called a server. If the server is connected to the internet, those website files can be viewed through special apps called web browsers, such as Chrome or Safari. You can technically host a website on your own laptop, but the website would disappear from the internet when you turn off your device—so nobody does that.

You can either purchase your own server for hundreds or thousands of dollars (overkill for most businesses), or you can rent space on a server for your website. Hosting can cost anywhere from $3-4/month to $100+/month, depending on the size of the website, how much traffic you receive, how fast you want your website to be, and several other configurations you may need.

Most hosting companies put far too many websites on each server which makes all of the websites very slow. Our servers are much faster than most hosting companies (Bluehost, GoDaddy, HostGator, etc.) and we would be happy to host your website if that’s the route you choose to go. It makes it easier for us to build your website quickly if we are also your host.

3) How do you want us to build the website?

First of all, we build with WordPress. That’s what we do and we’re good at it.

Secondly, there are two ways we can build a website. We can either use a template and ask for content to fill pre-determined content areas (cheaper), or we can build a custom website around the content that you have already created (custom websites are more expensive, but you get exactly what you want).

Without having a conversation with you, there’s really no way to estimate the exact cost of either template or custom websites. As a rule of thumb, you can expect custom websites to cost several times more than a template website. Although template websites are less expensive, nearly all of our clients request custom websites.

4) What’s your budget?

What does it cost to build a website? We’ve written an article to help you anticipate the costs associated with building a website. Expect most small websites to cost between $1,000-$5,000. If you need a very basic website built on an impossibly small budget, contact us and we’ll see what we can do to connect you with one of our designers-in-training here at ArcFires.

Getting Started

If you haven’t already, we strongly recommend reading through How Much Does a Website Cost? Next steps are talking through some specifics with us so we can provide a quote. If you decide to move forward with your website build, use our Getting Started Checklist to help us launch your site quickly.